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30-Day Inspection ensures functionality and saves lives

U.S. Staff Sgt. Brian Misuraca, 563rd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, performs a quality check on a back style automatic-18 parachute during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 24, 2012. Misuraca and other aircrew flight equipment technicians ensure that BA-18s and other safety equipment are functional and ready for use by aircrew members in case of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

U.S. Staff Sgt. Brian Misuraca, 563rd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, performs a quality check on a back style automatic-18 parachute during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 24, 2012. Misuraca and other aircrew flight equipment technicians ensure that BA-18s and other safety equipment are functional and ready for use by aircrew members in case of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Daniel Ramos, 563rd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, repairs a strap on a back style automatic-18 parachute during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept 24, 2012. The 30-day inspection is used to make sure that all prepositioned safety equipment is functional and up to date for inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Daniel Ramos, 563rd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, repairs a strap on a back style automatic-18 parachute during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept 24, 2012. The 30-day inspection is used to make sure that all prepositioned safety equipment is functional and up to date for inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aradonis Perry, 563rd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, fastens a strap on the back style automatic-18 during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 24, 2012. Each parachute is inspected for proper functionality by an aircrew flight equipment technician and then quality checked before being loaded onto an aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aradonis Perry, 563rd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, fastens a strap on the back style automatic-18 during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 24, 2012. Each parachute is inspected for proper functionality by an aircrew flight equipment technician and then quality checked before being loaded onto an aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Bryant, 563rd Operation Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, unloads back style-18 parachutes from a C-130 Hercules during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 24, 2012. The BA-18s and other prepositioned safety equipment are removed from aircrafts if they are due for an inspection or have been found to show some kind of malfunction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Bryant, 563rd Operation Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, unloads back style-18 parachutes from a C-130 Hercules during a 30-day inspection on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 24, 2012. The BA-18s and other prepositioned safety equipment are removed from aircrafts if they are due for an inspection or have been found to show some kind of malfunction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- It takes an entire village to raise a child, and it takes an entire squadron to get an aircraft in the air, keep it there, and make sure the personnel on board are safe. The 563rd Operations Support Squadron is one such squadron, but there is more than just aircraft maintenance involved. There are also routine inspections of safety equipment inside the aircraft to ensure the aircrew members are safe even in the case of an emergency. One of those inspections is a called a 30-day inspection.

"The 30-day inspection is a routine inspection on emergency parachutes, the back style automatic-18," said Senior Airman Aradonis Perry, 563rd OSS aircrew flight equipment technician.

The BA-18 emergency bailout parachute is part of the emergency bailout system implemented in several aircrafts including the C-130 Hercules. The system is designed to deploy the parachute automatically at an approximate altitude of 14,000 ft. It is also capable of being manually deployed by pilots at lower altitudes. It is the aircrew flight equipment technician's job to ensure these parachutes deploy properly.

"We go through and check the integrity of the parachutes," Perry said. "We make sure they are operational and in working order."

Aircrew flight equipment technicians use the 30-day inspection to make sure that all pre-positioned safety equipment including parachutes, quick-don oxygen masks, and protective clothing kits are functional, not due for an inspection, and downloaded or uploaded as necessary. Equipment that needs to be inspected or is showing some kind of malfunction is taken down and replaced with fully functional equipment ensuring that in the case of emergency, personnel can safely evacuate the aircraft.

"These inspections are really important because they allow us to be able to support the rescue mission," Perry said. "We're also able to see the impact the life support and survival equipment have on the aircrew members who use them on a daily basis."




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